'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' Recap: Love's Labors in Wonderland
'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' Recap: Love's Labors in Wonderland
Josie Rhodes Cook
Josie Rhodes Cook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The search is on for the genie's bottle in tonight's episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as Alice continues her adventure to find her lost love, Cyrus.


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The episode opens on Jafar entering a shop in Agrabah "many years ago." He questions the shopkeep there, who he believes acquired his apparent wealth thanks to a genie's wishes. 

The shopkeeper goes into the kitchen in the back and warns his genie, who turns out to be Cyrus, that Jafar is there. For his final wish, the man wishes for the genie to go far away from that place, thus saving him from being taken by Jafar. Far away turns out to be Wonderland, where Cyrus will eventually meet his love, Alice.

Alice's Plan

In present-day Wonderland, Will wakes to find Alice practicing her sword fighting skills. She tells him they need to get moving, and we learn that their goal this episode is to find not Cyrus himself, but his bottle, and their advantage is that she knows where it is hidden. She says they need to find the bottle and make wishes to bring Cyrus to it, and it's up to the Knave to make these wishes. She claims that she trusts him with this, and they are off to the Mimsy Meadows, where the bottle is buried. 

Ashes to Ashes

In the Red Queen's court, she is surrounded by both her servants, who sport Ziggy Stardust-style facial make-up, for the record, and the peasants of her kingdom. She is bored of their grievances, but their chatter ends when Jafar makes a visit, as he freezes them to speak with the Queen. They converse, and we learn that they both want to change the laws of magic with the wishes they are hoping to secure. 

Jafar is unimpressed with the Queen's commitment to her responsibility to her people, and in a show of power, he turns those frozen in the room to dust before her eyes, before he threatens her and leaves. It's obvious that this is one baddie the characters in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland shouldn't mess with! 

Soon after, the White Rabbit comes to the Red Queen with news: he knows where Will and Alice are headed, and therefore, where the bottle she seeks is located.

Silvermist's Wrath
 
Speaking of Will and Alice, they continue their journey, only to come upon a large body of water. Why is this a problem? Turns out, the Knave can't swim! He suggests they walk around the lake, but Alice refuses to waste that much time, and she says they are going to take the ferry. 

But it's not a ferry at all that she's speaking of, but a fairy, Silvermist, who Will appears to have had a past relationship with if her slapping him when she arrives is any indication. She uses magic to have them fly behind her across the lake, but when Will makes a comment about their relationship, Silvermist drops him into the water, and Alice goes after him.

The Laws of Magic

In Jafar's dungeon, Cyrus writes a letter, and in a flashback we see when he gave Alice her wishes. Cyrus tells Alice about the laws of magic that dictate his wish-granting abilities: he can't kill anyone, bring someone back from the dead, change the past, or make anyone fall in love. And the bigger the wish, he tells her, the greater the consequence. 

Alice suggests wishing for his freedom, and he states that others have tried, with unpleasant results for both parties. In this flashback, Alice also lets the White Rabbit go on his way, as she had had him still in a bag she was carrying. 

Getting Creative

In another flashback, Cyrus tells Alice about Jafar, and they bond over their shared freedom in Wonderland. Cyrus asks why she has to go home, and she claims to have nowhere else to go. She asks Cyrus more questions about his past as a genie, and when she claims to not be comfortable with a sword, he tells her 'you have to get creative in Wonderland.'

Cyrus then gives Alice a paper rose made of magic paper, just one of the things he's learned to do on his journeys. He's never in one place for long, he states, and she says she knows what it's like to be moved on from. Surely, that will be important to remember later this season. 

A Wonderful Team

Once again, Jafar shows up in the Queen's palace. She tells him that she has needs, and requires proof that he can satisfy those needs. When she turns to walk away from him, Jafar freezes her, telling her to be still and take his orders; she has his word, he says, that he will come through on his end of their bargain, and that's more than others have gotten. He then unfreezes her and demands to know where the bottle is. "Mimsy Meadows," she tells him, "under the Towering TumTum tree."

Alice and Will's Lucky Day

Back with Alice and Will, and Alice has become discouraged by their predicament. Just a note, despite having to swim to rescue the Knave, her make-up is still pretty perfect. Must be thanks to the magic of Wonderland! 

When Alice stomps her feet, the rock moves beneath them and they fall into the water once more. With this, she realizes that they're not on a rock at all, but a turtle! She jumps onto the turtle's head and, using her sword to threaten it, makes it carry them through the water.

Is Love a Weakness?

In another flashback, Cyrus teaches Alice to sword fight, and during the exchange, we learn a few things: Alice is a quick study, and she learned to play a Mozart sonata when she was young to try to make her father happy, as her mother had this particular skill and she died when Alice was born. 

She's also figured out Cyrus' weakness, she tells him, and she kisses him. I think it's safe to say that they are, in fact, each other's weaknesses, Alice was just the first to figure it out!

When Alice and Will finally reach land, Silvermist appears. They argue again, and the fairy mentions a name that seems to have significance for Will: Anastasia. After Silvermist leaves, Alice asks about the name, but Will won't talk. A lost love? His very own weakness? Will just gets more complex the more he's featured on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland!

The Vow

In yet another flashback, Cyrus tells Alice it's time for her to make her wishes. He's falling in love with her, he says, and he can't allow that to happen, because eventually she will move on like all the rest. 

But Alice denies that she would ever do such a thing, and anyway, she already has all that she could ever wish for. She swears that she will never move on from Cyrus if he'll never move on from her, and they kiss to seal the deal.

The Disappearing Bottle

When Alice and Will reach the tree where the bottle is buried, Jafar is already there. But little does he know, the bottle isn't there, and never has been. Alice has been lying about its location all along! She says you can't count on anyone in Wonderland, and Will asks if her lying to him about the bottle means she didn't trust him, either. She trusts him now, she reassures him, and to prove it, she takes him to where the bottle is really buried. 

When they reach the "dandelion," a bush covered in the flower carved into the shape of a lion where Alice says the bottle is located, she is dismayed to find a hole there instead, and the bottle missing. Her disappointment leads Alice to believe that maybe Cyrus has moved on after all.

The Red Queen Rises Up

In his cage, Cyrus finishes writing his letter to Alice, and he forces his hand through the bars of the silver cage, with great effort, to send off a magic paper crane that he folded it into. It flies off, presumably to fly to Alice. 

Then Jafar shows up, demanding to know where the bottle is. He threatens to kill Alice in front of Cyrus if he doesn't tell, but as it turns out, Cyrus doesn't need to say anything; the Red Queen appears, and thanks to the White Rabbit, she now knows where it is. Before, Jafar held all the power in their relationship, but now that she has such vital information, she has taken some of that power back. 

Promises Were Made to be Broken

Back at the dandelion, and Alice and WIll have apparently been standing at the site for hours, because it is now after dark. Alice is starting to convince herself that Cyrus has indeed moved on, and when Will suggests that they find shelter, she doesn't seem to care about her own safety. I do hope the show doesn't continue with this trend of making Alice lose her edge every time she feels even slightly depressed about her relationship with Cyrus, because it's going to get old fast.

In the Queen's palace, the White Rabbit reminds the Red Queen that she promised him something, and she says that promises were made to be broken. She tells him that only when she gets what she wants will he get what he wants in return. What could the Red Queen have promised him? She then asks him how he knew where the bottle was, and in a flashback, we see that when Cyrus and Alice buried it, he was lurking nearby. 

A Tale of Heartbreak?

In present-day Wonderland, Alice and Will have built a fire, and though it's late, Alice can't sleep. She asks again about Anastasia, and the Knave tells her, "That is a tale of heartbreak." She asks whether he means for himself or for the mystery girl, and he asks whether that even matters. He believes that when someone truly loves you, they can never move on, but Alice disagrees. Her father moved on, she claimed, and now it's happening again. 

Forever Thine, Forever Mine

Just then, the paper crane brought to life by magic flies down and into Alice's hands. For Alice, it's proof of his love, and while not necessary, it does help her strengthen her resolve. Cyrus' voice plays over the final scene, reading off the letter. In it, he asks her to leave Wonderland, as he believes she is in danger and her demise would be worse for him than his own. 

But Alice wouldn't be Alice if she just gave up! She quickly writes a reply, which simply reads: "I'm coming for you." And with that, the crane flies off into the Wonderland night.


Once Upon a Time in Wonderland airs every Thursday night at 8:00 PM on ABC. 

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(Image courtesy of ABC)


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